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Pak PM Imran Khan bats for Taliban on SCO pitch

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan once again batted for the new Taliban regime at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

As expected Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan once again batted for the new Taliban regime on an international forum.

Addressing a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Khan appealed to the world to “give them (the Taliban) some time” to form a legitimate government in Afghanistan. He stressed that it would be unwise to spread negativity or indulge in propaganda at this critical juncture as it would undermine the prospects for peace, to the detriment of  the Afghan people.

Khan also asked the Taliban to fulfil its promises.

“For their part, the Taliban must fulfil the pledges made above all for an inclusive political structure where all ethnic groups are represented. This is vital for Afghanistan’s stability,” Khan further added, “It is also important to ensure respect for the rights of all Afghans, and ensure that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for terrorists.”

Justifying Pakistan’s support to the insurgent regime, Khan said that Pakistan’s stance towards Afghanistan has always been the same.

“Pakistan has a vital interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and will continue to lend its support.”

He reminded the world that a "new reality" had been established in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover and withdrawal of foreign troops and now  the international community should collectively ensure that there is no renewed conflict in Afghanistan and the security situation is stabilised.

The eight-member SCO grouping of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan is holding its 21st summit at Dushanbe. Afghanistan is an observer in the SCO.

While lauding Taliban’s “bloodless” capture of power, Khan stressed that now they need aid and support for humanitarian assistance and the world should come forward and engage with the new regime in Kabul.

Interestingly, exactly two months ago, the former President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani had lashed out at Imran Khan and Pakistan’s military for supporting the Taliban to capture Afghanistan, at the international conference on ‘Central and South Asia Regional Connectivity: Challenges and Opportunities’ in Tashkent.

Later Imran Khan had said that  “the Taliban won't talk peace as long as Ashraf Ghani is the President of Afghanistan.” After Kabul felll to the Taliban last month, it was Imran Khan who proudly declared that Afghanistan has broken the shackles of slavery.

But now Imran khan tells the world that Afghanistan could not be "controlled from the outside".

Also Read: With Baradar out and unknown Mullah Hasan Akhund in, has Pakistan mounted a coup in Afghanistan?